Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Wedding of Dominic and Rachel

I shot the wedding of Dominic and Rachel a few weeks ago.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Technically quite challenging, you do have to work fast and use your photography knowledge and equipment to the limits.  You also have to capture the emotion of the day which needed social skills.  I was well prepared for the church after visiting it before the wedding and know it will be dark.  That was not the worse problem and I was happy to shoot at ISO 1600.  Together with my IS lens and monopod I was able to shoot at quite low shutter speed.

The worse aspect of the church was the mixed lighting.  I was shooting without flash during the ceremony, for which I created a custom white balance.  At other times, I did use flash mainly to fill out some shadows.  What I did was gel the flash to match the custom white balance, so I can shoot with or without flash and the images still look right without colour cast in the background.  With this approach, I can seamlessly switch between fill flash and no flash without having to change white balance.  Also, when I shot with flash, I wanted the images to look natural as though no flash was used.  My favourite images from that day are shown below.

Make up being applied

Church service

Exchange of wedding rings

Man and wife, you may kiss the bride
Speaker at service

Leaving the church

Confetti time

Set up shot at reception

The after dinner dance

The dancing bride

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Small Angle Made All The Difference

I was shooting a wedding over the weekend.  It was stressful but enjoyable at the same time.  It was a busy day for the bride and groom.  They had to get married and at the same time greet and look after the guests.  So they did not have a lot of time for the photographer.  I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible and be invisible.  During the church service I did not used the flash and relied on high ISO, mono pod and IS lens to shoot in the dark church.

At the reception after they had greeted all the guests, I managed to shoot them by themselves.  I knew I will not have much time, so I had to work fast.  My Strobist experience definitely came in useful.  There was no time to set up multiple lights, I used a single Nikon SB26 on a light stand without modifier. It was a very cloudy day and a bare flash guns created the illusion of a sunny day.

One of the photo I was shooting was from a low angle.  The image came out really well.  I've captured the emotion of the happy couple, but there was something that made me chimp again.  It was the featureless cloudy white sky behind them.  I decided the photo can be much better if the background was better.  I quickly changed my position so I had the large tree behind them and fired off a few shots.  By working quickly they were still holding that pose.  I think they were the best photos from that day.
The finished photo, I've adjust colour and contrast
This illustrate the important of a good back ground in a portrait and how a small change in angle can achieve that.

The initial shot against the sky

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Red Curtain and Bubble Wrap

I had the opportunity to shoot with the lovely Amber Corbett again last week.  The idea was to shot a model wrapped in a red curtain and bubble wrap.  Initially I wanted to use a white background, but I heard Photovibe Studio in Benfleet had just built an infinity cove.  I've used this studio before and was keen to try the new cove.

Amber is a model I worked with in January and I contacted her regarding this idea and she was happy to work with me on this idea.  In fact she has a lot of ideas and input into this shoot.  I have to say she was a pleasure to work with.  Communication was good and she was on time and a great laugh during the shoot.

Regarding lighting an infinity cove, it was simple, I only used a large softbox to light Amber and the cove bounced the light everywhere creative a high key white background.  The studio had light mounted on the ceiling of the cove, but I tuned them off because the background was too bright.  I am very happy with the photos from this shoot and I hope you like them too.

An infinity cove is great for high key work and a great tool to get get pure white background with a single light.

Light set up for the shoot